Oregon Ridge Park

Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031

Oregon Ridge Park

Oregon Ridge Park Professional Review and Guide

"Hike up and down hills in one of the Baltimore area’s most popular parks. Oregon Ridge has become well known around Baltimore for many things: its annual Fourth of July celebration with a performance by the excellent Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, its crosscountry skiing trails, the swimming beach, the restaurant, and the theater. Hiking doesn’t usually make the top of the list, and that’s a shame because the trails in the park offer a great trek.

You’ll feel like you are a world away when you step on the trails at Oregon Ridge Park. The land where the Oregon Ridge Nature Center now sits was an iron ore and marble mining operation during the mid-nineteenth century."

More Oregon Ridge Park Professional Reviews and Guides

"This hike is one of several trails at Oregon Ridge Nature Center. Follow a red-blazed path on natural surface through a forest of old logging trails, including a challenging ascent. It’s a peaceful hike with a pond, a beach and swimming area, and a nature center topped off with a nice overlook of Hunt Valley.

You’ll feel like you are a world away when you step on the trails at Oregon Ridge Park. The land where the Oregon Ridge Nature Center now sits was an iron ore and marble mining operation during the mid-nineteenth century. The forest that once stood here during this time was clear-cut and sold for firewood. What you see now is a second-growth forest. The trails you see today were once logging roads used to drag out the trees after they were cut. The center was built in 1963 and houses displays on the history, wildlife, and environment of the park. It also has a library and gift shop."

"This loop hike is a combination of two of the park’s trails on the 1,043 acres of land that was once an active iron-ore- and marble-mining operation during the midnineteenth century. Pass by a nature center, swimming lake and beach, pond, and overlooks. Hop your way across several stream crossings and walk a few ups and downs through a second-growth forest on old logging roads.

A little slice of heaven in Baltimore County! The land where the Oregon Ridge Nature Center now sits was an iron-ore- and marble-mining operation during the mid-nineteenth century.

In total the Cockeysville park has 1,043 acres for recreation. This hike combines the Loggers Red Trail with the Ivy Hill Yellow / S. James Campbell Yellow Trail to give you a good taste of what the Oregon Ridge trails have to offer. To the left of the nature center, begin your hike by heading over the bridge, where you’ll be greeted by a sign that says Welcome to the Eastern Deciduous Forest."

"A walk along old logging trails under mature second-growth hardwoods in Maryland’s horse country, with an interlude along a secluded clear-running brook. People who grow up in central Maryland usually discover at a young age the bucolic beauty of northern Baltimore County, and many are familiar with the beach at Oregon Lake. Sadly, many never discover the lush woods traversed by the park’s excellent trail system. What a shame!

Special considerations: The trails in the park are effectively marked at major trail junctions. The mileage listed on the signs indicates the total length of the trail. For example, S. JAMES CAMPBELL TRAIL, 1.4 MILES, means that the trail is 1.4 miles long. It does not mean that the trail begins 1.4 miles from the sign. Also, there are several stream crossings without bridges; most are shallow enough to traipse through, and all are narrow enough to rock-hop across. A public beach at Oregon Lake offers a fine finish to a summer hike."

Oregon Ridge Park Reviews

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3/19/2011
Two nice loops with some fun elevation climbs. The more remote loop - Ivy Hill Yellow Trail is the more exciting part as you have about 4-5 stream crossings.
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10/1/2008
Meh......Decent hiking. Nothing too exciting. Lots of hills. Gets a little confusing at times. I popped out of the woods and ended up in a picnic area with swing sets.
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8/2/2008
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7/29/2008
This is a fantastic modified loop trail with several fun stream crossing all with stones to cross on. Much diversity of wildlife and sights along the way. Best of all if it is hot there is a man made "beach" (a pond with shipped in sand) where you can swim in a clear lake if you desire to cool off in the water. There are a couple of hills that are great for newbies as it helps them develope hiking lets. For the more experienced hiker this is a very enjoyable park and enough hills that if you keep a good pace you will get a fantastic workout!!
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7/8/2007
Good trail, good directions. A few notes about the last part of the hike - at the last pipeline clearing, go uphill a few yards and you will see where the trail continues; after that you will get to a T, go right and walk through the picnic area; when you get through the lake, exit through the bathhouse (all other gates were closed on the summer Saturday we hiked.)
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6/10/2007
This trail was a pleasant surprise! It is a well maintained trail traversing the forest of a Baltimore County park. The path follows lovely streams, passes a beautiful pond, overlooks the swimming lake where the quarry used to be, and meanders through forests dense with mountain laurel and deciduous trees. We spotted a deer along the way. While much of the path is level, there are enough ups and downs to give a bit of a workout. A hiking pole isn't necessary, but would have been welcome on a couple of the steeper declines and as balance crossing streams. It is a trail I'd like to do in four seasons. An enjoyable afternoon outing, all in all. My only regret is that I didn't check it out sooner! On a hot summer day, I'd suggest hiking early and spending the afternoon relaxing/swimming at the lake. There's a charge for swimming, but the trails are free.
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8/20/2006
Trail was well marked with colored blazes - but make sure to take a map the trails are very confusing. Not much parking available - go early... Park is open well before "offical opening time" - 9:00 - I went at 7:30.
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Oregon Ridge Park Photos

Trail Information

Hunt Valley
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
4.2
Distance
410 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
2 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Oregon Ridge Park
Local Contacts
USGS Cockeysville
Local Maps